“Alchemy: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation or combination.”

Jane has been practicing alchemy since childhood, when she fashioned a pair of shoes from cardboard, ribbon and black walnut half-shells. She was 9; she wanted to wear shoes that made the clicking sound of grown-up heeled shoes, and it worked!

That walnut-shoe moment infused Jane with the confidence to embrace this idea of making something new from random parts. Whether blending color, formulating skincare or transforming ingredients in her kitchen, alchemy best describes all that she does. Throughout her life she has innovated through artistic processes, developing a renaissance-like lifestyle. Her home and her studios are one constant joyful experiment: the alchemy of a life well lived.

Jane, the artist

Coming from a family of 3 generations of artists, I have always been aware of color. It is part of the filter through which I see the world. In the 1980’s when I began work as a make-up artist and Personal Color Analyst, it was only natural that my own perspective on color developed into a methodology which veered me away from the standardized 4-color seasonal theories. What I discovered instead was an astoundingly accurate method of categorizing color with 3 entirely separate wheels. This method, which I call The Triadic Color Theory System©, utilizes the Fibonacci Number Sequence and has held true for me all these years in both my customized make-up artistry and my textile artwork. (Read more below.)

Career milestones:

– Make-up artistry for stage, video and film
– Color consultant for the architectural industry and interior design
– Taught theory to estheticians and artists
– Artwork hanging in corporations and homes across the United States
– Featured in media; magazines such as Yankee, New Hampshire and NH Home.
– Juried member of League of NH Craftsmen
– Featured in the film “A League of Our Own; New Hampshire and the American Craft Movement”

Jane, the master esthetician

My interest in skincare began in my teens when my own skin sensitivities could not be addressed with standard products or mainstream advice. This led me to research the cosmetic and natural remedy industry where I discovered that most products were either toxic or terribly congesting to the skin. I then began making my own pure, homemade kitchen concoctions to remedy my own skin, which has morphed over the years to my present day products and services that embrace the science & technology of modern skincare while adhering to the principles of holistic health.

Career milestones:

– A pioneer in Holistic Cosmetic Dermaceuticals since 1970
– An industry leader in Paramedical Esthetics since 1980
– Founder of the California based Dom Ivana Skin Remedy Center and developer of Dom Ivana skincare products; sold business in 2002.
– Spa Consultant & trainer for multiple spas including Napa Valley 5-star Auberge du Soleil.
– Referenced in media; Aromatherapy Journal, Departure Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, New Hampshire magazine, talk radio and others.
– Active clients across the United States

Jane, the alchemist

artist—silversmith—jeweler—seamstress—quilter—tailor—felter—upholsterer—painter—printer—carpenter—writer—poet—philosopher—graphic designer—photographer—display artist—interior designer—recipe developer—heirloom gardener—landscape designer—aromatherapist—cosmetic chemist—skin care formulator—make-up artist

Jane Balshaw’s Triadic Color Theory System©

Many great thinkers throughout history, ranging from poets and painters to physicians and philosophers, have surmised the likelihood of an underlying unifying order to all things of the universe, both material and immaterial. Quite often this mysterious unifying order has been equated to equations. That is, great thinkers often point towards mathematical sequences and equations as the basis for or an explanation of the origins of all things.

The Golden Ratio is perhaps the preeminent standard equation which has spawned inquiry and imagination in countless great thinkers throughout the ages. While its precise period of discovery is unknown, the Golden Ratio has been explored and utilized by ancient Egyptians and Greeks dating back to at least 400 BC. Since then, the Golden Ratio has been reinterpreted by all classes of thinkers and for all kinds of purposes. 13th century Italian mathematician Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, also known as Fibonacci, expounded on the intricacies of number theory and depicted the golden ratio as a series of numbers that went on to be called The Fibonacci Sequence.

The Fibonacci Sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc.) is called a recursive sequence in that each number equals the sum of the two preceding numbers. This building or layering of numbers, when applied to material structures, creates a self-repeating curvature, a basic geometric shape that is seen in virtually all natural creations such as shells, leaves, flowers and even human anatomy. This geometric shape, or recursive sequence of numbers, is scalable to the immaterial realms as well. Divisions of space in the form of color, light and sound can also be found to exhibit this fundamental sequence of numbers as expressed through energy.

It is precisely the use of this number sequence in the immaterial realms that has inspired aesthetician and artist Jane Balshaw to create her own color theory known as The Triadic Color Theory System©. Jane Balshaw discovered that this number sequence expresses itself in color combinations and patterns throughout nature, and when holistically viewed, the co-existing colors of an object appear harmoniously in sync. If specific colors of one object are haphazardly assigned to another object, the overall visual effect is obscured and rendered out of balance to the artful eye. Every leaf, every flower, every human with his or her own unique genetic information, exhibits a specific kaleidoscope of color that is balanced and beautiful.

It is this understanding, this concept, that has informed Jane Balshaw during her many years in the beauty industry. Without this understanding of color ratio and balance, cosmetic colors are chosen for individuals which create a disharmonious visual effect. When colors are chosen which are in mathematical balance or harmony with the unique ‘geometry’ of an individual, the overall visual effect is one of beauty and health; the skin appears glowing rather than sallow, the eyes are glittery rather than dull, the hair is lustrous rather than brassy.

The cornerstones of Jane’s theory are the three primary colors as the color palette of life and therefore of human coloring – red, yellow and blue. Beginning with a basic ratio of the primary colors in an individual’s constitution, Jane then creates an entire palette of additional colors through the natural compounding structure of the Fibonacci Sequence. The Triadic Color Theory System© produces a custom palette of interrelated colors for makeup and clothing, colors that are in subtle synergy with one another, and most importantly with the individual, resulting in perfect mesmerizing beauty. Jane Balshaw is one of many great thinkers who finds explanation and beauty in the numbers behind all things.

By W.B.

Jane Balshaw; aromatherapy practitioner

Jane Balshaw is an aromatherapy practitioner.  Aromatherapy is the ancient art and science of healing through the use of essential oils, which are delicate plant extracts considered to be the ‘blood’ or ‘essential’ life-force of plants. As such, essential oils are abundantly rich in complex nutrients much like human blood. Each essential oil carries its own unique botanical profile of healing nutrients, providing a host of therapeutic possibilities to the aromatherapy practitioner.

Although essential oils may vary greatly in their nutrient profiles and specific usage, one quality they all have in common is their cytophylactic nature. Cytophylaxis is a biological mechanism in which cellular activity increases to prevent cells from being damaged. This mechanism, in part, is due to the inherent oxygen carrying capacity within the oils. Like human blood, essential oils transport oxygen and key nutrients to tissues for health and healing.  Cellular oxygenation is touted amongst many scientists as the premise of age and disease-reversal, more commonly known as The Fountain of Youth. It is interesting to observe that essential oils, when handled and stored properly, have extraordinarily long shelf lives, as their regenerative qualities are also naturally self-regenerative!

Due to the remarkable cytophylactic nature of essential oils, seemingly intractable health conditions can be addressed with great success. In Europe, where aromatherapy is commonly employed by physicians, essential oils are used with superlative effects in treating serious conditions such as 2nd and 3rd degree burns, infectious diseases, organ and gland malfunction, psychological conditions, as well as many other issues.

Perhaps the most common method of use with essential oils is in topical skincare. Here, severely damaged skin can heal through the potent regenerative qualities of this liquid phytonutrition. Burns, growths, wrinkles, cysts, pimples, age spots, skin discoloration and rough texture all respond to essential oils, which are safely and easily absorbed through the skin.  Common oils used in regenerative skincare are Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Sandalwood, Angelica, Tea Tree, Geranium, and Cedarwood. Each oil heals damaged skin tissue and offers additional unique qualities that are selected for a specific condition by the practitioner.

When practicing or utilizing aromatherapy, choosing high quality essential oils is of top priority. Due to their highly concentrated nature, it is critical to use oils that are organic or wildcrafted, minimally processed and properly stored. If a plant is treated with exogenous harmful chemicals, those chemicals get concentrated into the plant blood (essential oils), which then transport into the extraction process and into bottles! This chemical transfer process is the same with human consumption of harmful chemicals in food, which get stored in the fatty tissues and blood once they are ingested.

Jane Balshaw utilizes the highest quality essential oils to enhance and customize the benefits of her products and treatments. Appointments can be made to have an aromatherapeutic consultation and to create different scents for a variety of take-home uses. Products may be boosted with oils for skincare, bath care or for pure aromatherapeutic delight in the case of room sprays or natural perfumes. Pure unadulterated essential oils promise a fragrantly therapeutic addition to any skincare, healthcare and/or lifestyle regimen.

By W.B.

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